We were disappointed to find the numerous beach getaways we explored cost-prohibitive but found ourselves pleasantly surprised by a “staycation” weekend at home. “We are officially on vacation!” we told the kids on Friday morning as we lounged in bed with all five of them. We never get to do that – just stay in our pajamas and snuggle and tickle and do our best to keep the triplets from falling to the floor. We’re usually rushing out the door, nagging the “big kids” to eat their breakfast and telling the babies crying in their cribs that we’ll be there “in a minute.” So, this simple act of bouncing on the bed signaled a shift in spirit. “Yay! Vacation! We LOVE vacation!”
After finally getting dressed, we went to the grocery store, where we filled the cart with items from aisles we typically avoid – a ten-pack of sugar cereals featuring Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam, Doritos, lemonade, iced tea, ice cream, freezer pops, Cool Whip – it’s quite possible that the only items with any true nutritional value were the strawberries (purchased with the sole intent of making strawberry shortcake) and milk (which, with a trio of one year olds in the house is still a requirement!).
With our fridge adequately stocked with treats, we headed to the pool – and found it be a rather resort-like atmosphere at noon on a Friday… especially since I’d opted to leave the cooler at home so that we could indulge in the offerings from the snack bar for lunch. Water-logged and sun-kissed a few hours later, we headed home for happy hour because really, what is vacation without a happy hour?! While the kids enjoyed lemonade and Doritos, we had a beer and, um, Doritos. Yum!
Next up: Dinner. While we do often cook on vacation, we decided to head out instead. As you might imagine, we don’t often dine out with our five kids five and under. As one of our fellow diners observed the other night, “this can not be a very relaxing meal for you.” Indeed, it was not. However, I didn’t cook it and I didn’t clean it up. When we asked who had fun at dinner, five little hands went up in the air – sticky, ice cream covered little hands with matching sticky ice cream smiles. This was really starting to feel like vacation.
We walked home as the sun set and the fireflies lit the way. It was well past bedtime and my daughter asked if she could watch a movie. I said yes. Then our kindergartner – oops, I mean 1st grader! – asked if he could watch the Yankee game. And I said yes. They looked at me at the same time and said “but Mom, you NEVER say yes!!!” I’m not sure that I “NEVER” say yes but I do know that when we’re on vacation, the rules change. So, after we tucked the triplets in for the night, Liam got cozy on the couch with his Dad to cheer on his favorite team while Ciara and I settled in to watch Peter Pan; we were both asleep long before they reached Neverland – quite possibly dreaming of pirates and pixie dust and the fun to be had before you grow up. In all, it was a most excellent way to kick off Summer 2010 and proved to us that a “staycation” just might be as good as a vacation.
(This post originally appeared at www.parentsask.com)